“I don’t know what to talk about!”
“Talk about anything! Talk about cheese!”
“Flow is flow man!”
“Ok, ok. So..do you like cheese?”
“Why, yes! My favourite’s Gouda!”
Grab the attention of your reader from the outset. It’s not necessary to set the scene first – jump in with something attention-grabbing. Dialogue is a good way to do this, especially if the dialogue is quirky (or about cheese). Ok, so cheese won’t work for everyone (except me) but the principle is valid. The piece of dialogue above is an hilarious scene from a truly laugh-out-loud film starring Amanda Bynes and Channing Tatum, She’s The Man.
Tips for writers
Be inventive with your opening chapters or scenes. Give your readers a reason to continue to read beyond the first word.
As an aside, I am really the worst person to be giving new writers tips. The veterans always say that you should plan your manuscript. Think about the plot, work out the twists. Well, I don’t always write like that. My earlier fiction works usually began with the first random thought that came into my head. Like the random intro to this post. Just remember, make it bold, make it attention-grabbing and attention-holding – and maybe my style of “Random Writing” will inspire a novel or two.
Here’s some random-writing; He slammed his feet down hard on the brakes but could only watch in horror as the ’78 Chevy careened into an ancient oak tree, the front bodywork crumpling like paper as it slammed into the trunk. He suddenly remembered Livia was standing on the pavement, her red hair blowing in the breeze, clutching the heart-shaped red balloon he had given to her only half an hour before.
Feet were running towards the car but he was already drifting into unconsciousness. By the time they had reached him, he was gone.
P.S. I’m watching TV as I write this! Would you guess from the above that I’m not watching an action film? No, actually it’s gameshow Deal or No Deal. Inspiration is an odd spectre. Either that, or Noel Edmonds is this century’s undiscovered muse.